Through your engagement, there are so many exciting celebrations leading up to your Wedding day. Engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette are all celebrations that your friends and family are excited to host for you.
Similar to planning a Wedding, many people do not know where to start in the process of planning a bridal shower. Traditionally it is hosted by the maid of honor and bridesmaids, but often mothers, aunts, grandmothers, cousins etc all get involved as well because they're excited to celebrate the bride to be! It can become a stressful process, but we've laid out some simple steps to share with your tribe (or follow if you are hosting one!) to host a beautiful and organized bridal shower.
Bridal Shower Planning: Step by Step
Talk to the Bride
Step one of planning any Wedding related party is always talk to the bride first! Get her input about the bridal shower, what her expectations are and then plan accordingly. You don’t need to disclose any details to the bride but getting her input can help you plan the shower of her dreams!
Assemble Your Team
Planning a Bridal Shower can be a lot of work but don’t worry, you don’t need to do it alone! Traditionally the bridal shower is hosted by the maid of honor and bridesmaids. In planning, you may also find the mother of the bride, mother of the groom, grandmothers, cousins etc may also want to get involved. Do not be afraid to delegate but keep the voices making the decisions to 1-3 people to avoid too much confusion.
Create a Budget
Setting a budget for yourself before you start planning is the best way to ensure that you stay within your financial means. Discuss the budget with the bridal party and figure out what everyone is able to contribute financially to the party and base your budget on that. You don’t need an enormous budget to create a memorable and fun Bridal Shower!
Create a Guest List
If you are unsure of who to invite to the Bridal Shower, rely on the Mothers of the Bride and Groom and rest of the bridal party for help. The Mothers of the Bride and Groom can help you figure out which family members to invite and you and the bridesmaids can decide which friends and coworkers to invite. Remember only people invited to the Wedding should be invited to the Bridal Shower!
PRO TIP: Most couples planning a wedding have a list of guests they invited to their wedding and their contact information so ask the Bride to share this with you. It’s a great way to get all the contact information you may not have for everyone you want to invite!
Send out a Save the Date
It’s always a good idea to send out a Save the Date to guests about 3 months ahead of the shower, especially if some guests will have to travel in from out of town. The earlier you let the guests know, the less likely there are to be scheduling conflicts!
PRO TIP: Remember to let guests know on the Save the Date if the Bridal Shower is a surprise so no one accidentally spills the beans!
Now that you have your guest list, date and location set, its time to get to planning décor and activities! Start with choosing a theme or color scheme for the Bridal Shower and choose décor based on this. You can base it off of the venue, the color scheme for their Wedding - or something else special to the Bride!
hen planning don’t forget to consider the logistics of the Bridal Shower, like how the bride will get to the shower (if it’s a surprise) and when/if the groom will be joining her at the party.
Some things to make sure you don’t forget when planning:
We recommend dividing up the responsibilities and have the bridal party help you out with the planning. One bridesmaid can plan a fun Bridal Shower activity, one bridesmaid can make favors, one bridesmaid can make a playlist for the party, etc. By dividing and conquering you can make the planning much less stressful for yourself and include all of the important people in the bride’s life in the planning process!
PRO TIP: Create a Day of Timeline for the Bridal Shower for yourself that includes the start and end time of the party, when guests will be arriving, when food will be served, games and activities and opening gifts! Having a timeline will help you to keep the Bridal Shower on track and not forget anything the day of - including what you need to do the morning of!
EXTRA PRO TIP: Check out our Pinterest page for Bridal Shower Décor Ideas!
Send out Invitations
Make sure you get the invitations sent out about a month ahead of the Bridal Shower if you sent a Save the Date and about two months ahead of time if you did not send a Save the Date. Be sure to include where the Bride is registered on the invitation so people can easily find the items she is registered for.
Day of The Party
On the day of the Bridal Shower make sure you arrive early to the venue to set up the décor and activities. We recommend having a couple people to help you out especially if you are bringing in all the décor yourself. You are the host of the party so refer to your timeline to keep the party on track. It will be your responsibility to initiate the games, activities and gift opening!
PRO TIP: If you are setting up the Bridal Shower décor yourself don’t forget to bring all the supplies you will need with you! Make yourself a Bridal Shower kit with all of the supplies you will need to set up. Some must haves in our kit are tape, scissors, command hooks (to help with hanging banners or balloons), lighter (if you are using candles) and a hot glue gun (especially if you have DIY décor that may need last minute touch ups).
With the current pandemic, many couples that are in the process of planning their Weddings have had to develop a Plan B. Many are significantly cutting down on their guest list for their big day so they can move forward and embrace the idea of a Micro Wedding. We consider a Micro Wedding a Wedding guest count under 50, but typically between 20-30 guests. Micro Weddings consist of many of the traditional aspects of a Wedding including ceremony, florals, a photographer, and reception, just on a much smaller scale. While not necessarily for everyone, there are plenty of reasons to love a Micro Wedding and why they are great options to pivot your Wedding plans in 2020!
1. More Venue Options
One of our favorite reasons we love a Micro Wedding is how many more venue options are available to you with a smaller guest count. Cutting the guest count from hundreds of people down to maybe 25 or 30 can allow you to consider some venues that would typically be way too small to accommodate a larger group. Having such a reduced guest count can open the door to using more unique and personal venue spaces for your big day. Some of our favorites include your favorite bar or restaurant, art gallery, park, garden, rooftop, or brewery… there are tons of options!
2. More Quality Time with your Guests
Trying to mingle with all your guests can be a tough feat on your Wedding day when there are hundreds of people in attendance. One of the upsides of having a micro Wedding is it allows you to spend more quality time with each and every one of your guests in a way that just isn’t possible when there are hundreds of people. Since you are only including your closest friends and family, you can be more present and celebrate the day in a much more intimate way.
Another upside to having a reduced guest count is that it makes it easier to make your Wedding a more personal experience. Not just for you, but your guests as well. You can add small personal touches to your Wedding day that are meaningful to each of your guests. Some of our favorite ideas are a family picture wall displaying photos of the couple with each of their guests over the years or a personal note from the couple to each guest waiting for them at their seat. We even had a bride who picked out a book she thought each guest would enjoy and gave it to them as their favor! These small details will make a huge impression on your guests and leave them with sweet memories from your big day.
4. More for your Money
With a smaller guest count, the budget you have set aside for your wedding can go much further than with a larger wedding. It can allow you either to have a smaller budget all together and put the money towards something else meaningful in your life, or add a little more luxury to your big day that would be way too costly otherwise. Going a bit smaller on the guest list means you can splurge a little more on your guest experience with things like lavish 5 course dinners, live entertainment, interactive dinner or drink stations or an open bar for the guests.
5. Less Stress
It is no secret that planning a Wedding can be stressful at times, but reducing your guest count can help make not only the planning process a bit easier, but also your Wedding day itself a little less stressful. Planning a Wedding celebration for 30 people is going to be a simpler and less complicated process than a Wedding with 150 people. While some people grow up dreaming of a large Wedding celebration, others are just not as comfortable being the center of attention. For them, a micro Wedding would be a perfect option. Less time stressing and more time enjoying the company of your new spouse and closest friends and family members...sounds like a win-win to us!
A break from our regularly scheduled programming – we’re going to turn our attention to destinations. It’s been a minute since we’ve done a travel highlight but being quarantined in our home, we are feeling the itch to get on a plane and go just about anywhere! We are sure that you are feeling the same, so we wanted to offer a little wanderlust.
One of the places in the United States that few people turn to for summer vacations, is Utah. It’s a well-known winter destination with skiing and the Sundance Film Festival – but often unrecognized publicly is it’s gorgeous landscape as a summer destination. It’s home to a number of national parks that offer a variety of activities for everyone and unforgettable views.
Our principal planner, Kelly Soule, discovered it’s beauty when she was working for the Sundance Film Festival. She shares her favorite places to visit and photos from her travels to inspire you to make your post-quarantine plans!
Top Recommendations in Park City:
- High West Distillery & Restaurant
- No Name Bar
- Montage Resort
- Deer Valley Ski Resort
- Olympic Ski Park
Moab: Canyonlands and Arches National Parks
One of the most special places in the United States is Moab, UT. Home to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, it's a small tourist town that serves as a hub for hikers, bikers and campers coming to explore the beautiful sites. Each park offers individual sights and you'll definitely want to ensure you plan for a full day in each. There's plenty of trails if you like to hike or bike but if you prefer to drive and take in the sights, there's options for that too!
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon offers sights you've never seen before. A truly work of magic by mother nature, the amazing red-orange-pink sandstone sculptures offer beautiful surroundings for hiking, biking and camping.
For animal lovers, one of the most impressive sights we have seen is on Antelope Island. Just 30 minutes outside of downtown Salt Lake City, the island now is home close to 700 free roaming bison. Driving through the island you can see them roaming the fields or crossing the street in front of your car. We've never been somewhere where you can get as up close and personal to a creature living it's natural habitat! It's not to miss.
Zion National Park
The first National Park in Utah, Zion National Park is another not to miss. Just a little over an hour from Bryce, Zion offers similar redstone views with that additional of their emerald pools. Majestic waterfalls and glistening pools offer refreshing spots for hikers and biker to sit back, relax and take in the views.
Deciding on a Wedding venue is a huge decision and there are tons of factors to take into consideration before signing the contract. While there are plenty more details to talk through with the venue before you sign on the dotted line, these are some insightful questions to help get you started and you may not think of unless you are in the Wedding biz. Of course you want to cover the basics (is the venue available on your preferred date, how many guests can the venue hold, pricing and payment information, cancellation policies etc.), but here are a few more things to consider from the pros when looking for a Wedding venue:
You will want to ask if the venue has any restrictions or rules about what décor you are allowed to bring in and what you can do with it inside the space. For example, some older or historic venues may not allow for candles or open flames or some venues do not allow confetti or glitter to be used. If you have your heart set on a grand confetti exit at the end of the night, make sure the venue allows it first!
While many venues will allow you to bring in any vendors you wish, some venues have exclusive relationships with certain vendors. Make sure you ask your venue if bringing in outside vendors will be possible or if they can provide you a list of vendors for you to choose from.
PRO TIP! Wedding venues are a great place to get recommendations for other vendors! They have seen many vendors come and go through their venue space and can help point you in the direction of a great vendor for your big day. Plus, having a vendor who has worked in your venue space can be great as they are already familiar with the space and its procedures.
If you are planning on having an outdoor Wedding, there are a few other factors to take into consideration when choosing a venue. You want to make sure they have a Plan B in case of inclement weather. Is there an indoor space available in the event that Mother Nature decides not to cooperate on your Wedding day? Ask to take a look at this space to make sure it fits with your vision for your Wedding day. Hopefully, you never have to use Plan B, but its always better to have the conversation ahead of time so there are no unpleasant surprises the day of your Wedding.
Day of Coordinator
Ask your venue if they provide a Day of Coordinator for your wedding. This would be the person from the venue there on site to help make sure everything goes smoothly and as planned on your Wedding day. Some venues will provide a Day of Coordinator free of charge, while others may offer the service for an additional fee. If your venue does not offer a Day of Coordinator, ask if you are allowed to bring in an external coordinator, as some venues may have restrictions. You will definitely want to ensure you have a point of contact for all your vendors and to run the show on the day-of.
Some larger Wedding venues may have multiple spaces they rent out individually on the same date for different groups. If you were hoping for a private and exclusive rental of the space, be sure to check with the venue if your rental is exclusive for your event or if they will be booking other events for the same date.
While some venues may offer free usage of their tech equipment (speakers, microphones, projectors, etc.) other venues may charge an additional fee for this or not offer any equipment on site at all. Be sure to ask about this up front so you know if you will need to rent any equipment or be sure the entertainment provides their own equipment.
An important logistical question to ask your venue is what time you and the other vendors will be allowed to get into the venue space on the day of your Wedding. This is important to ensure all your vendors have enough time to get everything set up on the morning of your Wedding day.
PRO TIP! Ask your venue if you are allowed to drop off décor and other supplies the night before the Wedding, rather than bringing everything in the day-of. Dropping all of this off the night before can help make the morning of your Wedding less stressful!
Always be sure to ask you venue about who will be responsible for the break down of the decor and setup after your Wedding. Some venues may provide staff to assist with taking down decor and bringing gifts to the designated vehicle, but others will not and it is important to know this ahead of time. If your venue leaves the break down up to you, be sure you have a plan for the end of the evening. Consider who will be responsible for gathering all the gifts and décor and ensuring they get to their next destination.
It is super important to make sure you are familiar with the policies of your venue regarding insurance. While some venues provide the liability insurance, other venues may request for you to provide this so make sure you ask!
It's May 15, 2020 and our world has changed drastically because of Covid-19. Many of us are stuck in our homes and if we are not, we are just starting to come out of quarantine unsure of what will come and when we can gather again.
The Wedding and Events industry is powering through every day, pivoting plans for our clients and guiding them to make safe decisions for themselves and their guests while honoring the countless hours that went into planning these celebrations.
Unfortunately, we are now at a point where we look out to the rest of 2020 and the vision of hosting gathers of 100+ people in the manner are used to and have planned for is unlikely. The decision to postpone is not as simple as it was a couple months ago. While we still recommend the same thought process from our previous post - which will help you get to place that you are ready to move forward with a plan b - we're now sharing some updated insight we have learned from our clients and want to help you find the best plan b for you and your fiance.
Option 1: Copy and Paste to 2021
Is it important to you to keep ALL of your original plans for your Wedding? Whether that be ensuring all your guests can attend or keeping the same date, you are willing to push it a year out in order to move forward with the Wedding you have always envisioned.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Celebrate Now, Party Later
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Perhaps the thought of postponing and extending your Wedding planning is exhausting and you want to figure out a way to make it happen in 2020. There's tons of ways to pivot and move forward with planning for a 2020 Wedding amid the COVID-19 pandemic while keeping it personal and special. Not sure how to do it? Here are some ideas:
HOW TO PIVOT
One of our main methodologies when working with couples on their Wedding plans is customization. This goes from the location, to signage and even down to their Wedding Ceremony plans. There are many different variations you can apply to the processional and recessional process as there is no one size fits all. Some that are based off religious traditions, some based off logistics, and some based purely off which side the Bride prefers to be photographed from. We are walking you through all of your options and how to put together the best plan for you. Putting a plan in place now will prevent any confusion and anxiety when you get to the rehearsal, and you can feel confident going into your Wedding day.
First of all, Processional and Recessional are likely terms you are not familiar with unless you happen to have been in a lot of Weddings. These are terms used to describe the entry and exit of the Bridal Party. Processional being entry and Recessional being the exit.
Who is Involved?
Before you think about how people will be walking in and out, think about who you want to be included in this process. “Traditionally” the below are included:
Where Will They Stand/Sit?
Before you can think about how people will walk in and walk out, think about where they are going to be during the ceremony. Traditionally the Bridal Party (Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Best Man and Maid of Honor) stand, lined up behind the Bride and Groom. However, various religious ceremonies require that the Bridal Party sit in the front row instead. For example, if you are hosting a Christian mass with your ceremony, they will be asked to sit as they cannot be up at the altar for the duration of a mass. Similarly, some Jewish ceremonies require the parents to stand up with the Bride and Groom and have the Bridal Party sit. Speak with whomever is conducting your ceremony to see if they have a religious or personal preference that works best for the content of your ceremony.
Their standing or seating order can be arranged in personal preference or height, always starting with the Best Man and Maid of Honor standing closest to the couple.
As far as sides for the Bride and Groom, traditionally the Bride is on the left side and the Groom is on the right side. If you are not having a formal or religious ceremony, you of course can switch this up however you’d like.
What's the Proper Order?
CHRISTIAN WEDDING CEREMONY:
Now, let’s talk about order. Traditionally, at a birds-eye view, the order should be:
JEWISH WEDDING CEREMONY:
Couples having a non-religious ceremony can choose any order they want. We recommend keeping the birds-eye view order while making your preference for the Groom, Bridesmaids and Groomsmen.
Same sex couple can select orders that reflect any religions, traditions or personal preferences they would like. Some same-sex wedding ceremony traditions we have seen and recommend:
APPLIES TO ALL:
Everyone exists essentially in the opposite order as how they walked in. The Bride and Groom of course lead the way, followed by the Maid of Honor and Best Man, the rest of the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, Parents of the Bride and Groom, Grandparents of the Bride and Groom and then the Officiant. The rest of the guests will follow suit.
Enjoy some of our favorite tips, tricks and select event highlights!